The Bee Gees include: Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb.
Arrangers: Bee Gees; Bill Shepherd ; Phil Dennys.
Those who take issue with the Gibb Brothers' disco phase can turn to this 1969 compilation for a summation of the band's early Beatlesque pop. The collection leans heavily on the band's splendid debut album, and rightly so--it's one of the finest pop recordings of the '60s. That seminal record is represented by several cuts, including "Holiday," which features Robin Gibb's mournful, Orbisonesque warble and the quirky, very British-sounding "Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You." The spare, folkie death ballad "New York Mining Disaster 1941;" and the soul-inflected Barry Gibb spotlight "To Love Somebody" round out the other welcome inclusions from the debut.
Beneath the band's bright pop veneer lay a darker, more sophisticated side. Their close harmonies and unusual song structures were often used in service of nearly morbid lyrical themes. "I Started a Joke" is the definitive Robin ballad, wherein the singer's downfall brings joy to the world, with fatal results. "I've Gotta Get A Message To You" is the story of a murderer on death row, anxious to say goodbye to his love. This marriage of perfect pop melody and shadowy lyricism is what makes the band's '60s work so unique.